When items are placed on reserve at Williams Library, it is the responsibility of the instructor to meet copyright criteria or obtain copyright permission if necessary. The following is a quick overview of copyright. For more detailed information, see Copyright Information or NSU Copyright Policy.

The following copyright fair-use statement and guidelines are from "A Copyright Sampler" by Wanda Johnston and Derrie Roark (1996): Fair-use allows an instructor in a nonprofit education institution to duplicate work without permission from or payment to copyright owners. In order to do so, four fair-use key criteria must be met. The four criteria are:

Purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes. How will the materials be used and by whom?

Nature of the copyrighted work. What is the format of the work? Print? Television programming? Music? Software? Each format has different allowable uses before permission from the copyright holder is required.

Amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole. How much of the work will be used? How important is the section? Permission from the copyright holder may have to be requested depending upon the answers.

Effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. Will the intended use cause the copyright holder to lose sales? Instructors may place the original, library-owned, or personal copies of a work on reserve for as long as necessary, but a photocopy of the same work or excerpt of the work must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • The material includes a copyright notice on the first page of the portion photocopied
  • The number of copies should be in proportion to the number of students using the material, and the number of other courses that may assign the same material
  • The effect of photocopying the material should not be detrimental to the market for the work
  • Consumable materials such as workbooks cannot be copied or put on reserve, as that would be detrimental to the market for the work
  • Photocopies of printed material may be put on reserve for one semester unless purchased through an authorized document delivery service, which provides for payment of copyright fees. See the Copyright Clearing Center for information on the payment of copyright fees.